EU agrees to put Hezbollah armed wing on terror list

Published: Updated:

The European Union declared on Monday the military wing of Lebanese party Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Diplomats said the decision was made following concerns over the group’s activities in Europe.

Blacklisting Hezbollah means imposing visa bans on individuals and asset freezes on organizations associated with it.

However, implementation would be complicated since officials would have to unravel the links between the different wings within Hezbollah’s organizational network, and see who could be targeted for belonging to its military.

EU foreign ministers had been working for months to blacklist Hezbollah, after the group was accused of involvement in last year’s attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria.

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the incident.

The decision to put its military wing on the EU list of terrorist groups required approval by all 28 member states.

However, some fear that such a move will destabilize Lebanon further.

The United States applauded the EU’s designation of Hezbollah as terrorist group.

Hezbollah has been already blacklisted in several countries, including the United States, Israel, Canada and Australia.

The Gulf Cooperation Council - whose members are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates - also agreed last week to blacklist the group.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is Israel’s sworn enemy, and its direct intervention in Syria has dismayed Western powers and Middle Eastern states that back rebels battling to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

(With AFP and AP)